Portugal Day 3: 14/04/2017

We were up pretty early again so, after getting dressed, we took a walk down to Cabanas de Tavira, which is not too far from my parents’ place. Cabanas is a lovely seaside town, with lots of cafes along the front and a boardwalk too. We walked to the end of the boardwalk and back and stopped for tea and toasties in one of the cafes. I have to say, the Portuguese know how to do good toasties.

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After our brunch we walked back and I have to say I was starting to feel the heat on my back. Could I live in it I wondered? We had some cool drinks at my parents place before dropping to Gran Plaza again for some shopping. While there we browsed the shops and checked out garden furniture for our new place. It would be a while before we needed it, but there is not harm in looking.

My Dad picked himself up a grill and table for his own decking. He had been considering a barbecue but thought this was a good alternative. Less cleaning involved. BattleDad and I spotted some lovely garden table and chairs in a shop called JYSK.

After looking at garden furniture, we stopped for tea and cakes up in the food court from the coffee shop before my mum and I hit C&A. It’s a shop I used to frequent regularly when they were in Liffey Valley all those years ago. While Mum and I shopped for clothes, the men got the food shop in Continente. Fair swap I’d say.

Enjoying dinner out on the desk was lovely and relaxing and someone was ready for bed by 7pm, leaving us adults to have a few hours peace before we turned in ourselves.

Cath x

Portugal Day 2: 13/04/2017

We all were awake early, partly thanks to a certain little boy. We got up and dressed and headed into Tavira for breakfast on the square. This was the first time BattleDad and I had been into Tavira together and it felt a bit strange. We both were familiar with the town but separately until now.portugal diaries day 2

We then headed to the Municipal Offices in Tavira to organise our fiscal numbers. We were seen within an hour but at least it was done and dusted. Afterwards, we headed to an insurance brokers to get home insurance for our holiday home. I enquired about pet insurance and found our dog is covered (up to a certain amount) on the home insurance.

With all our business done and dusted we headed to Gran Plaza Shopping Centre for some lunch. The food court there has plenty to choose from and it is always good food. After filling up we got supplies in Contenente (think Tesco or Asda) before heading back to my parents’ place. We got our swimming togs on and went for a swim in their pool.portugal diaries day 2

portugal diaries day 2

As lovely as it was, it was a tad bit cold so we didn’t stay in too long. After showers, we got into our pj’s as we weren’t planning on going anywhere else for the rest of the day. It was a quiet evening after dinner with BattleKid settling quite well. We spent another few relaxing hours on the deck with my parents before heading to bed ourselves. Yes, I could get used to this way of life!

Cath x

Portugal Day 1: 12/04/2017

After staying overnight in a Holiday Inn Express not far from the airport, we were up at 4.30am to get to Bristol for check in. We didn’t fancy getting up at 3am to make it to the airport for 5am, so decided a hotel closer by and more sleep was a better idea. After dropping the car off at the Meet and Greet in the Express car park, we made our way into the terminal. We checked in with no problems and made our way through security in record time, thanks to mama booking FastTrack.

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Eating breakfast before our flight

We went into the Brunell Bar and had a good breakfast before our flight was called at 6.30am. The flight was quite a smooth one after takeoff at 7.20. As we headed south we left behind the cold and grey and replaced it with sunshine and blue skies. This was our first time visiting Portugal together as a family. I had gone last Easter with BattleKid on my own and BattleDad in January. He had gone as a scouting mission to check out options for us moving down there.

We arrived just before 10am and soon found the bus to take us to our car hire a few minutes from the airport. And this is when we got a nasty surprise. BattleDad had hired a car online and paid for the full excess waiver. However, the car hire company (not to be named) would not accept the other insurance policy and so we had to take out theirs, at an extra cost of €100. Not the start of our holiday we were expecting.

We arrived at my parents place just before mid-day. They had emigrated to Portugal just a week before and were in high spirits. Lunch and a relaxing catch up were in order after our flight.

At 3pm, we visited the park where we were planning to move to and I saw our static holiday home for the first time. BattleDad had viewed it in January during his trip. We met our site manager too, who is very nice and helpful. After seeing the home, which was waiting to be sited, we visited our plot and I was impressed by the size of it. I thought “Yes, we can do this for a few years”.

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Having fun with his Lolo

We headed back to my folks place and took a walk around their site. We passed by the pool and had a break at the playground before having a late dinner. We got BattleKid into bed by 8.30pm before another catch-up on the deck with my parents. The weather had been good to us on our first day and we went to bed just after 10pm, looking forward to the rest of our holiday. I even managed to finish a book I’d be reading. Go me!

Cath x

Holiday Diaries 2017

By now all my readers know that we are a wanderlust family and 2017 is shaping up nicely in terms of holidays. 2016 was a good year for time away as a family and with friends and this year is going to be no different.

This year I would like to take BattleKid home to Ireland for his first ever Saint Patrick’s Day. However, that’s not going to happen as I didn’t realise it’s Ireland’s game of the Six Nations against England and it just happens to be in Dublin. So as you can imagine the price of flights for that weekend has sky-rocketed. Instead, I have decided to take BattleKid home the weekend before to visit family and maybe visit somewhere nice (and maybe scenic) while we’re there. Plus Mum needs to get a shopping trip in tsome point too!

Soon after that it will be Easter and we have a trip to Portugal to visit my Mum and Dad’s new home near Tavira, where BattleKid and I went to last Easter and which I blogged about in the Portugal Diaries. I’m so happy my folks have finally found a place for their retirement and we are more than happy to have it as a place for some holidays. Even better that BattleKid gets to see his grandparents in the process too!portugal day2

In June we were supposed to be heading to our first ever festival, the Wychwood Festival. I read about this when Kerry of Kerry Louise Norris was lucky enough to attend last year. Her post set me thinking and very soon after reading her review I booked our tickets. However, due to personal circumstances we have had to postpone it until next year. Luckily the operator allowed us to defer our tickets rather than lose them as they are non-refundable which I thought was very kind of them. So June 2018 it’ll be! BattleDad and I have never been to a festival, can you believe that, and so we are really looking forward to it.

After a long wait during the summer our trip of a lifetime will soon be looming. We are doing a two week road trip in America next September, starting and ending in Portland, Oregon. We will be spending five days exploring Yellowstone National Park. Soon after we will be visiting Lolo National Forest. As soon as I found out there was a forest with the same name as my Dad, albeit a nickname of his, I knew I had to visit it. And to find it so close to Yellowstone and en-route to and from Portland was a bonus.  I’ve blogged about wanting to visit Yellowstone before and we had considered waiting until BattleKid was old enough to remember it but we just bit the bullet last October and booked it. Sometimes you just need to be spontaneous!

BattleDad wants to take a drive down part of the Pacific Coast Highway from Portland so that will be a day trip for us. There is also an amazing waterfall 30 minutes drive from Portland, the Multnomah Falls, that I definitely want to photograph. So it’s easy to see why this is going to be the trip of a lifetime for us. It’ll be a busy two weeks but I’m hoping we come away with great memories alongside some awesome pictures. I’m just not looking forward to the 11 hour plane journey to and from Portland with a three and a half year old.

Multnomah Falls

In October we have another trip to Bluestone planned with our friends who we go there with. It’s a mid-week visit this time and I cannot wait. October seems like such a long time away though! We will most likely visit Folly Farm while there and perhaps a few castles in West Wales we don’t get to visit due to the distance.

Then sometime before Christmas we are intending to visit Euro Disney with W and S (of the Bluestone Diaries) with their 2 children who will be just turning one and just turned three. BattleKid won’t be far off his fourth birthday so we felt that this year in November or December it would be the right time to bring him to Euro Disney for the first time. We invited W and S and they jumped at the chance. Both families are looking forward to it and we will also take a day or two to go into Paris as it’s been a few years since BattleDad and I last visited Paris and I need my fix, haha.

So 2017 isn’t looking too shabby when it comes to holidays for the Battle Family. It’s always nice to start the new year with something to look forward to and I think we can safely say we’ve got things to look forward to. What are your holiday plans for 2017?

Cath x

*Updated 19/03/2017
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